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Summer School - Magisterium


MAGISTERIUM Summer School 2017 Urban studies: Unity in diversity

18.08. 2017 - 31.08. 2017


Magisterium Summer school is aimed at developing intellectual leadership (courage) and brave thinking that is to learn to not just think outside the box, but from outside of the dimension of ones experience. The word “Magisterium" (“teaching, teacherhood, tutorship" in Latin) has a double metaphorical meaning in Russian language. On the one hand, it is attuned to the word "magistratura" (Masters studies), and, on the other hand, it is one of the definitions of the philosophers' stone, a legendary substance said to be capable of turning “base metal" such as lead into gold. So while presenting education and research as true treasures of human life the “magisterium" at the same time refers to almost a magic and mysterious nature of the cognitive process which is impossible without intuition and inspiration.

The Magisterium school mission is to empower the students to use their minds creatively, to overcome conventional thinking and transform it from convergent, linear into divergent, creative, to improve debating skills.

Key features of the learning process

  • "method of immersion" (the school is held in a picturesque setting isolated from a regular learning environment; the schedule is arranged in accordance with the school goals);
  • flexibility (parallel modules to meet individual needs);
  • interactive character (methods of teaching aimed at getting effective feedback: master classes, projects, workshops);
  • game learning technologies for training and education;
  • networking within the school and beyond;
  • students will be awarded with 3 ECTS points;
  • the school is open for international students; courses are delivered in English.

Problem field

The key idea of the Magisterium School is focus on interdisciplinary studies of the city. The city is examined in different frames: city as a fortress, city as a main settlement, city as a trade centre, city as a sacrosanct space, city as a text and as an idea. The concept of "Unity in diversity" is chosen as the subtitle of the school because while being a popular slogan of interdisciplinary studies it precisely reflects the essence of the city as a social phenomenon. The object of study is the Rostov agglomeration because it is both one of the largest and most diverse in terms of development models of its constituent cities and towns in Russia.

Rostov-on-Don is a megalopolis, a centre of agglomeration and conurbation, transportation hub, administrative centre of federal status. Besides it is a poly-ethnic city with quite a low level of inter-ethnic conflicts. The city mythology ranges from a ‘southern capital". ‘the gate to the Caucasus" to a "New Babylon", “Russian yankee" and “Rostov- father (from the jargon of the 20th century: it refers to Rostovs perception as a thieves' patron).

Another case is Taganrog, a city with rich cultural traditions but “passing into oblivion" from historic point of view. The city mythology is “a might have been capital of the Russian empire", a "cultural capital of the south of Russia", a “capital of Russian province", “Chekhovs city".

Novocherkassk is a fine example of the city which is of the state project making with its pluses and minuses. The city mythology states that it is “the world Cossack capital".

And the last one is Azov, a town “made from scratch". Formally it is one of the oldest cities of the whole Russia, but in fact there is a huge gap between its history before the 18th century and the modern history (from the end of the 18th century).


The learning program is divided into three modules “Natural sciences and mathematics", “Social science" and “Humanities" covering 3 related subject areas (I ; engineering, environmental science, mathematics; II ; economy, political science, sociology; III ; history and ethnography, philology, semiotics).

Each module is delivered within four thematic days. Urban problems are studied in subject fields of bordering sciences within the first three days: engineering and architecture, environmental science and mathematics in the first module; economy and political science, sociology and social psychology in the second module; history and ethnography, philology and semiotics in the third module.

Correspondingly, the learning program of the first three days starts with introductory lectures on the urban problem field from the point of view of a specific science. Then the students are offered to choose a few interactive classes aimed at specifying the problems set in the introductory lectures. The last day of each module is aimed at interdisciplinary summing up of knowledge and skills attained previously within each subject module. It is implemented in the frame of learning excursions with the help of an experienced guide.

Visit to Azov: tour of the city, the museum of Don river delta and fishing farms (natural science module);

Visit to Novocherkassk: tour of the city, cathedral, local history museum (Humanities module);

Visit to Rostov-on-Don: tour of the city, local museums (social science module).

The essential part of the learning program is a project work. The students learn to understand the methodology and main principles of the project work and get team work skills and project thinking skills through team building exercises and workshops.  The students form project groups consisting of 6 persons each to develop media-projects on the relevant problem field. The aim of the project work is to develop a strategy of giving coverage to one of the urban problems of Azov.

International students are offered basic Russian language classes.

In addition to their course work, students enjoy a rich experience outside the classroom that includes activities ranging from excursions/hiking trips to film viewing and reviewing.

Because of the modular structure of the learning program the teaching staff is divided into several groups: 3 teachers for each module and 3-4 teachers for the whole period. The teachers are selected from the best associate professors of Southern Federal University who possess English language skills and have a rich experience of conducting summer and winter schools in this format.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the program the participants will get:

  • Interdisciplinary perception of the urban development as a whole and the Rostov agglomeration development specifically
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Cross-cultural skills
  • Debating skills
  • Unconventional thinking
  • Teamwork skills

All the participants will get a certificate of participation and will be awarded 3 credits.


To be enrolled into the Magisterium Summer school the students should submit an application form (downloaded from the web site), a motivation letter “Why do I want to take part in this Summer school?" and one recommendation from a teacher or research supervisor.

Practical information

The Magisterium Summer school is held in a very green city of Azov, located in the south-western part of Rostov region on the river Don. In summer it is hot. The all-Russian festival of historical clubs takes place in August devoted to the reconstruction of episodes of Azov siege by the Turkish army.

Accommodation is offered in Amaks hotel.

The fee for the whole period is 628 euro. This includes registration, course materials, transfer, accomodation, meals. The fee does not include visa and travel cost.

Please send the Application form and a motivation letter “Why do I want to take part in Magisterium summer school" to by May 1st, 2017.

Get more information about the schedule of MAGISTERIUM Summer School 2017 here.